Rams are edged out by Manchester United in opening friendly
DERBY COUNTY 1-2 MANCHESTER UNITED
By Harri Burton
Derby County’s fightback was too little too late as Manchester United’s two well-taken goals were enough to seal victory in the first of four pre-season friendlies for Wayne Rooney's Rams side.
The Derby fans’ voices were in full swing and the players were up for the fight. piling on the pressure early doors. A fine Tom Heaton save to deny Curtis Davies was all that prevented the wall of white shirts from erupting.
A mistake from Max Bird, however, reversed all of the early pressure from the Rams as Tahith Chong, a product of the Man United academy system, dispossessed the Derby midfielder. The Dutch winger stormed into the box, firing a shot straight at Kelle Roos but the keeper could only watch as his efforts were foiled by Chong who bundled the ball home.
Derby players called for handball but referee Rob Jones judged it to have hit the United man’s chest.
Tom Lawrence had a golden opportunity to lead by captain’s example and head home the equaliser but saw his effort fly wide from very close range. The Welshman was under pressure but he seemed to be disappointed with the finish.
Attempts on goal were flying in as the clock ticked towards half-time. However, Heaton had an answer to all of them. This time, a David Seaman-esque scoop leaving Phil Jagielka with his head in his hands following an audacious flick.
After a host of changes at half-time, with only two United players keeping their place, Derby had new threats to deal with. Shola Shoretire sparked into life, picking the ball up in the middle of the park and slotting a pass through to Facundo Pellistri with the outside of his boot. Pellistri still had a lot of work to do, rounding Roos and poking home into an empty net to double their lead. The Red Devils were cruising.
Colin Kazim-Richards got his side right back into the game with 20 minutes still left to play. The striker let loose from 25 yards out, arrowing a shot into Lee Grant’s right corner.
Isaac Hutchinson had the chance to draw level seconds later but saw his effort whistle past the wrong side of the far post.
Jesse Lingard, a half-time substitute, was stealing the show in midfield and came within inches of continuing his West Ham United form, smashing the crossbar with an effort from just outside the penalty box, leaving David Marshall praying.
Despite their best efforts, Derby were unable to complete the comeback with United holding onto a one-goal lead.
Derby: Roos (Marshall 60), Byrne (McDonald 60), Shinnie (Thompson 60), Jagielka, Bird (Aghatise 83), Lawrence (C) (Sibley, 60), Baldock (Kazim-Richards 45), Aluko (Hutchinson 60), Buchanan (Bardell, 60), Morrison (Ebosele 60), Davies (Stearma 45 (Forsyth, 60))
Subs: Faulkes, Plange, Solomon,
Man Utd: Heaton, Mata, Greenwood, Wan Bissaka, Williams, Levitt, Elanga, Garner, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Chong
Subs: Grant, Lingard, Pereira, Telles, Pellistri, Bishop, Matic, Mejbri, Shoretire, Fish, Hugill, Galbraith, Bernard